PNP forms team to probe killing of Nueva Ecija priest Richmond Nilo

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Police (PNP) formed a special team to investigate the killing of Nueva Ecija priest Father Richmond Nilo, who was shot dead inside a chapel on Sunday, June 10.

The Central Luzon Police Regional Office said in a statement on Monday, June 11, that a special investigation task group (SITG) has been created to look into the priest's case round-the-clock. The SITG is named after the priest, "Nilo."

"Your police is conducting [an] in-depth probe [into] this incident, ensuring that no stone will be left unturned to immediately identify and arrest the perpetrators," the regional police said.

In a press conference on Monday, PNP chief Director General Oscar Albayalde also said he has ordered all local police chiefs nationwide to "coordinate" with all priests.

Albayalde said he is instructing chiefs of police to reach out to priests in their communities and ask them if they face threats to their lives.

No further details were given about next steps that could be taken if there are priests who do disclose that they fear for their safety.

Nilo is the second priest killed in just 6 weeks, following Father Mark Ventura who was gunned down in Cagayan on April 29. Murder charges have since been filed against the alleged gunman in the Ventura case.

Nilo is also the second priest to be killed recently in Nueva Ecija. Father Marcelito Paez was shot by motorcycle-riding gunmen in December 2017. (READ: Father Tito Paez: 'A comrade for others')

According to Albayalde, the recent killings of priests in the Philippines should not be a cause for alarm for the public. But he admitted that it is concerning for the PNP. – Rappler.com

Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers security, crime, and the city of Manila for Rappler. He was chosen as a Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs.

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